Let's face it: It doesn't really feel like an election year. Nobody's running for president, Congress or the N.C. General Assembly. Our televisions are noticeably devoid of campaign commercials concerning Swift Boats and other inflammatory matters, and our in-boxes are similarly lacking in frantic e-mail exhortations from MoveOn.org.
Here in Asheville, however, a significant campaign season is under way, with the mayoralty and three City Council seats up for grabs. That adds up to a voting majority -- and if Terry Bellamy wins the mayor's race, the new Council will appoint someone to complete her term on Council. Thus, the outcomes of both the Oct. 11 primary and the Nov. 8 general election will go a long way toward determining the direction and priorities of city government over the next few years.
With that in mind, Xpress once again presents our electoral grid, to help readers decide whom to vote for. Pick a name and read that person's responses, or pick an issue that interests you and compare the various contenders' answers. Either way, you'll gain insight into how the candidates stand on some key issues in this race.
The primary is nonpartisan, so members of any party can vote for any candidate. Once in the booth, you can choose one of four mayoral candidates and three of the 10 contenders for City Council. The top two finishers in the mayor's race and the top six City Council candidates will advance to the general election. Watch these pages for continued coverage in the coming weeks.
-- Brian Sarzynski